Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
What We Love
- All rooms have views of Sydney Harbor; Grand Harbor Rooms overlook both the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge
- The Chi spa, which uses local ingredients including bush honey, macadamia nuts, eucalyptus and lemon myrtle
- The rooms’ deep soaking tubs—just one of the Shangri-La brand’s signature amenities
- Cocktails at the trendy Blu Bar 36 on the top floor
What To Know
- Expect business travelers
- Free WiFi
- The airport is about six miles away; the hotel can arrange transfers for a fee
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
As far as real estate goes, it doesn’t get much more impressive than Sydney’s sky-high Shangri-La hotel, one of the city’s most unabashedly luxurious stays, smack in the heart of the historic Rocks district. The 36-floor tower soars over its neighbors and, consequently, delivers sweeping views of the city and harbor. Despite a whopping 563 rooms (all spacious and decorated in soothing neutrals), the hotel’s service is always attentive yet inconspicuous. The dining and entertainment here is of equal caliber: top-floor Blu Bar is known for its mixologist-made cocktails and staggering city views, best followed up by a multi-course dinner at next-door restaurant Altitude. Also not to be missed: a rejuvenating treatment at CHI spa.
In the Area
Stays at Shangri-La put you in arm’s reach of some of the city’s best sights: Circular Quay, home to the iconic Opera House, is just a few minutes’ walk away. For a real splurge (but an unforgettable experience), join a BridgeClimb tour, which lets you scale Sydney’s storied Harbour Bridge for a unique perspective of the city. From Circular Quay, you can take a breezy ferry ride just across the harbor to Taronga Zoo, whose many enclosures housing native Australian wildlife (koalas; kangaroos; emus) are set against the Sydney skyline. Ferries also depart Circular Quay for Manly, a charming beach town that rivals Bondi with a killer stretch of sand and its fair share of waterfront restaurants and ice cream shops. Before departing, hit up Hugos for some quality pizza and sunset cocktails, then continue the party back in town at Hacienda Sydney, which pairs Caribbean-inspired drinks (Mai Tais; banana pisco sours) with open-air views of the Quay.
How to Get There
We stayed in a suite overlooking the bridge and Opera House. From arrival the service was fantastic and welcoming. Our room was beautiful and very clean. They even surprised us with a small cake and fruit platter to help us celebrate our birthday and babymoon.
Buffet breakfast was delicious too.
We’ll definitely be back!
Situated just by Sydney harbour, we could see both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House from our room. With a lot of windows and a corner room, the view was magnificent! The hotel had a great breakfast, and the service (especially from the Concierge) was great. He helped us with a lot of information. The hotel is in a great part of Sydney, Close to restaurants and bars nearby, and the happing harbour, were also the bus and train station is. All in all this was a great hotel experience and I can definitely recommend this hotel!
Overnight stay with my wife. Rooms are getting tired and not up to 5 star quality or the price charged.
Satellite TV channels had poor reception and were unwatchable.
Pool was extremely cold. Staff said this was an "engineering issue".
Horizon club was great and service was excellent.
This is a nice property from an aesthetic standpoint - well appointed rooms, spacious layout, and good location. There are many issues though that should be fully understood if you plan to book a room here.
1) During my stay, the elevators were PAINFULLY slow - with waits often meeting/exceeding 8minutes just to get on to an elevator. The hotel is apparently working on them, but I'm guessing it's a long-term project as they had a note under the glass by the television in the room. This tells me that it won't be fixed any time soon. I had overheard someone saying that only 2 of the 6 were working for all 36 floors of the building, which would explain the delays. I can't say I've ever dreaded entering an elevator before, but the idea of standing in the lobby realizing that I had forgotten my sunglasses and would have to deal with the elevators to get to them made me realize how important they are, and what an impact it could have on my stay.
2) I might guess this is a great hotel to visit in the winter months. In the summer months, the air conditioning doesn't come close to getting the job done. Back to the elevators: no A/C in those things - it's a sauna during your slow, hellish ride. As for the rooms, if I didn't close my curtains, the room wouldn't cool off, despite setting the thermostat to 65 until at least 9pm, and the room never managed to be "chilly". The room would do much better if I kept the window drapes closed, but the staff would open them during cleaning, so the room would continue to heat up. One afternoon, I had a small break in my work schedule and decided to sit in the room. That only lasted about 15 minutes as I realized it was too hot for me to stay up there as I was sweating while watching TV... so yeah, A/C is horrible.
3) Internet - it's free (yay!), but it's slow (Grrr) - so what's the point? I had many websites that I ended up surfing on my phone because the internet on my laptop was too slow when connected to the hotel wifi.
It's also worth noting that in my room, I had lighting that didn't function. I never complained about it, but that's one of those things that I expect housekeeping to notice and report back. After 5 days, it wasn't fixed and clearly isn't going to be.
Staff in general was lovely and assistive, so I can't fault them there. It does seem like this hotel gets booked a lot by cruise passengers, so every day in the lobby was a complete mess - with massive amounts of luggage and folks coming/going at the same time - there's a period each day where it feels like you can't even stand around as it's too loud and hectic. They either need to come up with a faster/easier way of checking these groups in/out or they need to stop having them.
Every so often we treat ourselves to a stay at the Shangri-La Sydney. The high price is a tad indulgent however the service, valet parking and the incredible views make up for that! The rooms are not huge but are comfortable and clean. Large double glazed windows on the bridge side ensures a quiet stay. Just a short walk from The Rocks, Circular Quay and the Opera house, this Hotel is a wonderful base for a getaway. Consistently good! Even when just in your room, there is always something to watch especially in the rooms facing the Harbour Bridge and Opera House as the ocean liners and Sydney Ferries come and go! Night time views are spectacular too!